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electing versus non-electing church plans


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We are possibly going to become the TPA for a 403(b) plan for a church, and have been doing some research. We know most church plans choose to be nonelecting to avoid Title I of ERISA. Can anyone provide any reasons (other than to provide participants with the enforcement provisions of ERISA) why one would choose to be an electing plan?



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A church plan sometimes elects into ERISA if, with an absence of ERISA preemption, more than one State law would govern a plan or a benefit provided under it, or to avoid a particular State law or remedy. Although this kind of idea can relate to any kind of employee-benefit plan, churches are more likely to choose it if a health benefit wouldn't be exempt from State insurance regulation.

Peter Gulia PC

Fiduciary Guidance Counsel

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania



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  • 1 month later...

The original post-ERISA legislative history under the electing plan rules (Code section 410(d)) indicates Congress thought employers would be pressured by employees to elect to be covered by ERISA -- that employers would feel compelled out of employee-relations concerns to make a 410(d) election.

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